“I really don't know what to say besides that I have been double blessed to have had a most remarkable and amazing son for 14 years and then the Holiday Magic from Markus that not only honors his memory, but keeps his beliefs of loving, living and giving alive. He would be humbled yet truly honored as am I. Thank You!"
-Deb Oatman, Markus Bryant's Mother
"Markus Bryant had a profound affect on all of us from the 2001 Fighting Sioux football team. Facing the greatest challenge anyone could bear, his concern was with us. At a young age he displayed courage and compassion that to this day moves all of us touched by his life.
Holiday Magic from Markus was set up by the class of 2002 to honor that courage and compassion. Each year we fundraise to buy gifts for children who find themselves in the hospital during the holidays battling serious illness. This is our way of honoring Markus and to give back to this great community. It also teaches our guys the importance of reaching out and helping others. Markus’s legacy is that of a young man that continues to inspire and care for others long after his passing. Please help us continue to create some smiles during the holidays."
-Current Head Coach, University of North Dakota Football, Chris Mussman
“When I think of the 2001 National Championship Season, I can’t help but think of Markus Bryant. Many of the same qualities that Markus demonstrated in his fight against cancer were evident within that team. Markus wrote the 2001 football team a note that said “Never give up because then you will achieve your goals”. The 2001 team did just that – we never gave up!
In memory of Markus, the 2002 Senior class established the Holiday Magic from Markus project which focused on bringing toys to children who were going through various medical treatments over Christmas.
In the fall of 2003, a tree was planted in Markus’ Memory next to memorial stadium. Next to the tree is a plaque which reads “This tree grows in the memory of Markus J Bryant (1988-2002). His inspiration & dedication to Sioux Football created a lasting legacy of teamwork, a positive attitude and undying spirit – no matter what!” The plaque says it all on what Markus brought to the UND football team.
In 2002, the team did not have an award that recognized determination, the ability to overcome adversity, the ability to be a positive influence within the Sioux Football program. Thus enters the Markus Bryant Award which has been awarded to the individual who best demonstrated those qualities during the season. In my mind, it’s the highest award presented at the annual banquet.”
-Former UND Football Head Coach Dale Lennon